It’s time to enroll in Master Bond’s Adhesive Academy, where the innovative Dr. B fills you in on the ins and outs of adhesives. In this episode, he explains the benefits of using heat to cure epoxy systems.
Sam: Good morning Doctor B. Last night I was reading an article on how to properly cure an epoxy. I had a few questions about some of the information and was hoping you could shed some light.
Dr. B: Sure Sam. Have a seat. What would you like to know?
Sam: Well, I always thought that certain epoxies cured at room temperature. It’s listed that way on many data sheets that I’ve seen. But in the article, the author talks about using heat.
Dr. B: Hmm. Most two part systems cure at room temperature when you mix part A and part B together. There are other one and two part epoxies that require oven curing. In general, you would want to heat these systems at 250 to 300°F or above. With a two part epoxy, you add heat thinking it will speed up the reaction and it does. It also gets you more cross linking and more polymerization. The end result is better properties.
Sam: So, does that mean you should always add heat?
Dr. B: From a performance standpoint, the epoxies that feature the addition of heat will often outperform the systems that only cure at room temperature in terms of physical strength properties, electrical insulation and so on. Even with the most basic elemental system, if you add heat, you'll get a better product. So, yes, I would almost always recommend adding heat.
Sam: Doctor B, how much heat do you need, and for how long?
Dr. B: That would depend upon the system. Sam, I have to prepare for a call in a few minutes. Can we continue this discussion later?
Sam: Sure Doctor B, that would be great.
Heat curing leads to more crosslinking and polymerization allowing the epoxy to develop superior characteristics.